Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
France, 1992. Paradis Films, La Générale d’Images, Bac Films, Orly Films, Ciné Cinq, Centre National de la Cinématographie, Club des Investissments, Canal+, Sofica Sofinergie, Sofinergie 2, Investimage 3, Cofimage. Screenplay by Erik Orsenna, Louis Gardel, Catherine Cohen, Regis Wargnier. Cinematography by Francois Catonne. Produced by Eric Heumann, Jean Labadie. Music by Patrick Doyle. Production Design by Jacques Bufnoir, Errol Kelly. Costume Design by Pierre-Yves Gayraud, Gabriella Pescucci. Film Editing by Genevieve Winding.
Epic French film plays like the kind of grand melodrama that hasn’t been seen on screen in years. A wealthy plantation owner (Catherine Deneuve) in French-controlled Indochina is also adoptive mother to the orphan princess (Linh Dan Pham) of the nation. The political events that are starting to pull colonial rule out of the area are reflected in their relationship, which grows distant when Dan Pham falls in love with her mother’s lover (Vincent Perez) and runs away with him. The photography is scenic and gorgeous, there are thousands of extras and lots of grand adventure, while Deneuve’s spirited performance dominates the screen.
Academy Award: Best Foreign Language Film
Nomination: Best Actress (Catherine Deneuve)
Golden Globe Award: Best Foreign Language Film